Applications are open for S.C. farmers interested in participating in the USDA Specialty Crop Block Grant Program.
The Specialty Crop Block Grant Program is designed to strengthen the market for specialty crops, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Agriculture. Approved crops include fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, nursery crops, and horticulture products including honey. The USDA website said eligible plants “must be cultivated or managed and used by people for food, medicinal purposes and/or aesthetic gratification.”
The program is administered through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service. Applications are due March 27.
Applicants are encouraged to propose projects that provide benefits such as enhanced food safety, improved crop distribution and supply chain, investment in research, development of new and improved seed varieties and specialty crops, enhanced pest and disease control, sustainability, increased efficiency, or reduced costs.
“The specialty crop industry is vital to the future of South Carolina agriculture,” Hugh Weathers, S.C. Commissioner of Agriculture, said in the release. “These grants encourage competition, entrepreneurship and innovation in farming, helping South Carolina farmers support their families and communities.”
For more information, contact Betsy Dorton at 803-734-2210.p